Viewpoints

What to do in the wake of the Las Vegas slaughter

Philadelphia Inquirer: This president, who was born with all the accoutrements of wealth, prides himself on being able to connect with working-class, churchgoing Americans who also own guns. Many of them have bought the NRA’s position that any further restrictions would become a slippery slope toward banning gun ownership. Trump has the stature to argue otherwise. To do that, he must find the same will he showed in avoiding a government shutdown by reaching a budget deal with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Charlotte Observer: How did we create a society in which more than 33,000 people are taken by gun violence every year? There are measures available that can lessen the chances of mass shootings and cut down on the gun deaths that happen every day. Improved background checks on purchases. More accessible mental health care. More sharing between states of mental health issues of gun buyers. Bans on automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines.

Baltimore Sun: Nevada’s firearm death rate, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 14.7 per 100,000 people. People are simply far more likely to die from a gunshot wound in Nevada than they are in most other states. But there is a limit to how much state-by-state restrictions on gun sales can accomplish. We grieve for those who lost their lives in Las Vegas, but we also grieve for a country that refuses to look at the circumstances that enable such mass shootings.

The Mercury News: The president, who threatens to annihilate other nations, suggested, in the wake of 58 deaths and more than 500 wounded in Las Vegas, that there’s nothing to be done about mass murder on the homefront by an American apparently unaffiliated with foreign terrorists. Actually, the answers begin with toughening of the nation’s gun laws, starting with a reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban that was on the books for just 10 years following a 1993 massacre in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Chronicle: Stephen Paddock, a Nevada retiree who appears to have no criminal record, will be united with every one of his long line of predecessors not by his motive, creed, race, nationality or particular sickness, but by his ability to obtain extremely deadly weapons. It’s revolting enough that our leaders, who are quick to take every precaution against the far more remote threat of foreign terrorism, can’t find the courage to make it even a little harder to amass such an arsenal and murder Americans. That they keep making it easier is an absurdity and an outrage.

For links to these and other editorials, please go to The Take at sacbee.com/opinion.

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